Two Black Boys in Paradise

They won't be here forever,
maybe just as long as this poem.
These two Black boys in paradise.
Two Black boys: can you see them?

These two Black boys are free.
These two Black boys are happy.
Black boys are real boys.
Black boys are not just little men.

Do you believe Black boys
are real, like for real for real?
Real black boys feel.
These two black boys are a healing.

Did you poison the apple already?
Did you dig up the tree?
Are you trying to plant
these Black boys in the ground?

Did you call them apple thieves?
Did you call the police?
There are no police in paradise.
There are no white people in this paradise.

The two boys in this poem have Black boy names.
They have grown up now,
but their names still suit them.
Masculinity has not been required of them.

They are in love with each other,
and they are in love with themselves.
One kisses the other's Adam's apple.
They don't make babies.

Maybe paradise is just meant for two people at a time.
Maybe it will be two Black girls in paradise next time.
Maybe they won't have to be
boys or girls.

Maybe it will be you in paradise
with that person
you have in mind
right now.

© Dean Atta, from There is (still) love here (Nine Arches Press, 2022)


from There is (still) Love Here, Nine Arches Press, 2022

credit: Thomas Sammut

Dean Atta

Dean Atta is an award-winning Black British author and poet whose works have received praise from Bernardine Evaristo and Malorie Blackman. His novel in verse, The Black Flamingo, about a Black gay teen finding his voice through poetry and drag performance, won the Stonewall Book Award and was shortlisted for numerous further prestigious awards. His poetry collection, There is (still) love here, explores acceptance, queer joy and the power of unapologetically being yourself and fully embracing who you are.